Thu | Dec 8, 2016

40 years of high flying models

Published:Sunday | January 25, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Chad Bryan, Staff Reporter

High-flying adventures with exciting competitive challenges and enticing prizes are all in the package of thrills for members of a group of model aeroplane aviation enthusiasts called the Flying High Radio Control Club.

A model aircraft is a small-scale replica of an existing plane. It may be flying or non-flying and is sometimes proportionally exact to the full-sized aircraft.

The club was started more than 40 years ago. Equipped with model aeroplanes, the club's

members get together on weekends and public holidays to entertain themselves and their guests. Competitions to pop balloons utilising the mini aircraft, and land in the centre of a marked area, among others, require that the operators hone their skills.

Members of the public are invited
to the Flying High gatherings, held at the Caymanas Polo
Club.

"The club has actually gone through a number of
transformations and different name changes. At one point in time it was
Hummingbird Radio Control Club, and in recent times it settled on Flying
High. I think this is about 10-15 years since it has been Flying High,"
said Dale Davis, the club's secretary.

He explained
that "it is a relatively small group of dedicated hobbyists, whose sole
purpose is to build a vibe of camaraderie while practising and
exercising their interests in model aviation".

Davis
said the Flying High membership ranges from park fliers with very small
aeroplanes to competition pilots, who fly aeroplanes up to 120 inches in
wingspan and powered by two-cylinder gas
engines.

"The largest size I think we have in the
island is a 170cc engine. We also have pilots interested in jet
propulsion aircraft, that use the same fuel as the commercial one, and
also electrical aircraft. There are those who are interested in gliders.
Those are dependent on thermal energy in the air to keep them
airborne," Davis said, adding that the fuel used in those aircraft is
from a local supplier.

Training
programme

Persons wishing to participate in the
Flyhing High activities or become a member of the club can be trained by
a certified member. "We do have a separate training programme with
certified instructors in the club and that is 30 flights," Davis
explained.

Newcomers to the hobby also need to invest
in a plane, batteries, fuel and other items needed for the aircraft's
safe flight.

The last gathering for 2014 was held at
the Caymanas Polo Club on Boxing Day, members of a radio control car
club joining in. In addition to the flying of gas and electric powered
aeroplanes, the club held a precision aerobatic contest which was won by
Donovan Osborne. Second place went to Dale Davis, and Stephen Laidlaw
was third.

Contributed Photos